Modern cars have evolved a lot over the years. But still, a car is a machine after all and can have problems. Some of these problems can be spotted easily, but some can be hard to figure out.  This is where car sensors come into play. The moment a problem is detected, the car will warn you. These warnings will be displayed on the instrument cluster where the tell-tale lights are located. Let’s decode these tell-tale lamps so that the next time you see any of them glowing, you know what the problem is.   

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Oil level warning

instrument cluster tell-tale lights

If this lamp comes on when you driving, stop immediately. Then after a few minutes, check the engine oil level with a dipstick and look for any leakage. If the level is low, top-up immediately as running low on engine oil can be harmful to your car’s engine. It can accelerate the wear and tear of the engine.  

Check engine light

If this light comes when the car is on the move, it’s signaling that the engine management system has malfunctioned. Stop immediately, as this can lead to bigger issues. The best option is to call assistance and figure out what can be done. If you don’t receive a solution get the car towed to the nearest service centre.  

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Power steering malfunction

This light is illuminated when there is a low oil level in the power steering fluid reservoir. If topping the fluid does not help, you will need to show the car at an authorized centre. 

Airbag icon

This light comes on the moment you start the car and should go off within a couple of seconds. If it doesn’t, it means there is a malfunction with the airbag system of the car. This can only be corrected by visiting an authorized centre.

Handbrake icon

instrument cluster tell-tale lights

When you pull the handbrake, this icon will appear on the console. If it remains on even after releasing the handbrake, then it indicates a malfunction in the braking system, including a possible low brake oil level.

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ABS light

instrument cluster tell-tale lights

If the light does not turn off after a few seconds or does not come on at all, then there is a problem with the car’s ABS systems. Regular braking is not affected by it, but it is always better to get checked as ABS is an important safety feature. 

Low-fuel warning

This lamp comes on when the fuel drops to reserve levels and is usually in the shape of a fuel pump. Most cars can still go a long distance on reserve, but it is advisable to tank up as soon as possible.

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Battery alert warning

This icon will appear when the car’s battery is completely drained out. It could be due to various reasons like the car being not used for a long time or loose wirings. It is better to get it checked by a mechanic.

Seat-belt warning

This is one of the most common icons that we see on the instrument cluster. It comes up when you have not belted up while driving the car. Nowadays, most cars even give an audible warning. 

Washer-fluid warning

This warning comes up when your windshield washer fluid is running low. Try to ensure you use washer fluid rather than plain water as it cleans the windshield thoroughly, besides preventing grime and dust from settling on the screen. A dirty windshield can lead to accidents.

This was our information on instrument cluster tell-tale lights. If you have car buying doubts click here to ask! Get the lowest price for car insurance here. For more such content stay subscribed to MotorOctane YoutubeGoogle News Facebook and Twitter. Also, follow us on Flipboard and Reddit where we have a discussion community.


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